Associate Laboratory Director for Physical Sciences
Cynthia Jenks stewards ORNL's broad physical sciences portfolio, with particular emphases on quantum materials; structural materials and alloys; soft materials; nanoscience; and applications of materials and chemistry in energy and security.
Jenks joined ORNL from Argonne National Laboratory, where she directed the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division, overseeing the contributions of 17 research groups. Prior to her time at Argonne, Jenks served in a variety of roles at Ames Laboratory, including assistant director for scientific planning.
Jenks is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and her extensive multidisciplinary research has resulted in 123 publications. Her areas of expertise include surface structure and reactivity, surface structure-property relationships, catalysis, chemical conversions for sustainable energy and thin-film growth.
She holds a doctorate and master’s in physical chemistry as well as a master’s in chemical engineering, all from Columbia University in New York. Her bachelor’s in chemical engineering is from the University of California at Los Angeles.